Category Archives: unmentionable

Pork luncheon meat

I’ve had an epiphany. Whenever I begin to doubt my ability to express myself in an anyway coherent and fitting manner, all I need do for reassurance is to check out my spam box; there are screeds of purple prose there that make my confused witterings seem positively Dostoevsky-like in comparison.

Pop pop pop!

A recycled, recycled ‘Musing,’ for Shrove Tuesday!

” β€˜Whizz pop whizz pop pop pop poppety pop pop,’ faster and ever so much faster flew the pancakes. Thicker and thicker. Bigger and bigger. They came out flatways and edgeways. They shot high in the air and stuck to the ceiling. One sailed across the room and hit the Vicar in the waistcoat, where it may or may not have reminded him of the ironholders for the South Crashbania natives. Pop poppety, pop pop pop. It was like a machine gun but much more sploshy. The Professor struggled out of his pancake just in time for another one to drop over him. Two pancakes were on the clock, four were draped over the light. The Mayor was eating his way through a complete set of pancakes of varying sizes that had fallen in front of him. The four firemen put their helmets on and brandished their axes, but only succeeded in smashing two cups, one saucer and the sugar basin. Mrs Flittersnoop put her head gingerly out from under the table and was immediately gummed to the carpet by a three-foot pancake two inches thick that had just shot out.”
From The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter

A Solemn Advent

I don’t seem to have got the hang of this Advent lark. OK, Mr M’s back is better. My pins and needles are still there, not helped by another mammoth card-writing session yesterday evening. Still, at least the practicalities of the approaching festive season are under control. So far.

It’s the more…spiritual side that’s lagging behind. I got in this afternoon to find my copy of Retreats Journal waiting for me. So far so good. I logged on with the honest intention of following up some of the excellent resources suggested by the Retreat Association, only to be waylaid by these wholesome chappies, languishing in my google feedreader. I never knew that dairy goods could be so exciting. In the good old days, the nearest to risque you got was a conga line of dancing cows, or Ernie and his ghostly goldtops!

So, I recover from the shock, and try good old Shipoffools Ecclesiantics board for some sound old fashioned theological and spiritual food, only to find them earnestly debating The Solemn Rite for the Lighting of the Advent Wreath. Hopeless. For as any child of the Sixties or Seventies knows, There is only One Rite and it consists of wire coathangers, yards of inflammable tinsel and a complete absence of Health and Safety regulations.

Might as well give up for tonight and concentrate on getting ready for the Church Ladies’ annual Christmas Dinner. Plenty of sustenance there. πŸ™‚


Mr M has managed to put his back out – climbing into bed on Sunday night! We still can’t for the life of us work out exactly what happened. He can get out and about around the house at least – albeit he looks rather like a ponderous, bearded turtle.

I’m positively athletic in comparison – though the aches and clicks remain. (I joked to oldchurch choir director that if she needs any jazzy accompaniment to the stuff we’re doing, just use me as a pair of castanets!). Must admit however, that the thought of the annual Christmas card marathon isn’t an enticing one just now. If this goes on I’m afraid it’ll just have to be a quick scrawl, no news and a New Year’s Resolution to finally get round to doing a proper database so that next year we can do address labels.

Movember Hairiness

Here’s hoping I’m not banned from the wibsite for featuring this little menagerie: Firstly, Miffy Jnr, sporting his very first moustache, in aid of the Movember mens’ health initiative.

Second up – our two resident hairy horrors: Miffcat in one of her (many) snoozing places – the dog’s kingsize bed; her humble servant and subject, Miffdog squeezed into second class accommodation nearby.

I’ll spare you the sight of HH number three – Mr M’s beard. It wouldn’t be fair.

Why, why, why

“Ah! You’re reading SAGA Magazine,” exclaimed Ms M triumphantly, a few minutes ago. I guess she regards this as the ultimate evidence that her mother is cantering down the slippery slope into complete decrepitude. Answer – an elderly acquaintance of mine kindly gave me her copies. Actually,they’re rather good – though I’ll not be taking out a subscription anytime soon.

In any case, she’s a fine one to talk – being about to head on down to the racecourse for Ladies Day with a guest appearance by a certain Sir Tom Jones. That’s different, apparently.

Summer visitors

Why is it that on the rare occasions I decide to have a lazy Saturday morning, there’s always, but always a ring on the doorbell? So it was that today at 10.15am, the mellow tenor tones of Miffdog announced the arrival of a group of JWs: one elderly and one young lady plus a little boy decked out in a spotless suit.

What they must have thought when they were greeted by this dishevelled woman in unmatching pyjamas, porridge-streaked dressing gown and rainbow striped toe separator socks God only knows. I guess they must be used to it by now.

Looking back and looking forward – life stirs

in the archive ‘Musings,’ – at last!

On 8 April 2005 we learn:

Son collided with daughter just now, on his way into the bathroom. She was coming out of it. Neither saw the other coming;both having burst into a spontaneous rendering of β€˜The Road to Amarillo!’

More original than ‘Happy Birthday To You,’ I guess – it being Mr M’s half century plus some birthday today.

Cold nights, green fields and windy interludes

 Greenbelt 2010 007

I guess I must take the prize for the “Greenbelt post blogged so long after the event that it’s but a hazy memory” award. My excuses are pretty feeble: the principal one being the necessity of putting my photos through the boil wash – aka Flickr before they’d load on WordPress, the lesser, my usual attack of Miffyesque procrasinitis. To be fair, life since the Bank hols has been quite full, with a number of to-ings, fro-ings and new experiences, which I may write about on my other, Greenpatches blog.

So, Greenbelt, my third, and in many ways the best experience so far. Year One, of course, being all “Ooh, look! Shiny!” New things, new people, a breath of fresh air at a time when to say I was experiencing problems with the institutional church was to make the understatement of the year. Year Two – well, let’s say, after Year Two, I seriously considered giving it all a miss. This time – all round positive, after the teensiest wobble on arrival. But no more than teensy. After being dispatched down the hill to buy emergency sustenance for Mr M, and finding on my return,that our Nice Next-Door Neighbours had helped him put up what must have been the world’s largest awning (about three times the size of the van!) the only way was up!

The reasons for the change? Well, I’d say – firstly, people, contact with. It’s become increasingly clear that the freedom of being a free agent, not tied down by obligation to a particular church group or organisation has its disadvantages. In 2009 I felt (despite the ever-steadfast Mr M to go back to) desperately lonely at times. I’m sure most folk have had the weird experience of being part of a crowd, yet simply not connecting with them; the more animated and ‘together’ they appear to you, the worse it feels. Then the worse it feels, the less you feel like being sociable, so the more isolated you become….. You get the picture. And there are only so many ‘worthy’ seminars and events I could go to before becoming thoroughly Greenbelted out!

Thank goodness for fellow ‘Seabirds,’ then! This time round, unlike previous years, I didn’t have much to do with the First Order Franciscan brothers and sisters, it was fellow tertiaries who made the difference – organising several get-togethers, (in the Beer Tent, naturally!). Not to mention bumping into others around the site. (On one occasion being recognised by the profession cross I was wearing). This gave me a few set points and a structure to the weekend. I’d also thought to contact the folk from last year’s course beforehand and did manage to bump into quite a few of them. Such little things help – like getting a text first thing on Saturday to saying ” Good morning – we’re meeting at such and such a time and before that we’ll be at…” or more amusingly, during one talk “We’re sitting however many rows ahead of you and to the side… ” Then there there were brief encounters with one ‘Ship’ couple who recognised us before we did them and with whom we were able to talk this and that , and bewail the shortage of beer in the Jesus Arms. (Thank you, N and D). P, whom I don’t tend to think of as a Ship person anymore, whose frenetic texts made me laugh,and who helped me in the annual Wandering round the tea tent looking lost trying to recognise the group I’m looking for routine. It was great to chat to Truthsign again,also, and thanks also to TG and FM who popped round the back of the paper canon during the Peace at the Sunday morning service, to say hi.

We planned in some lighter stuff this year, like Late Night Twist on the Friday evening, the Big Sing on Saturday and one of the art workshops. Apart from one of the excellent Richard Rohr talks (which I’d not originally intended to go to ), most of the weightier stuff was left to the later part of the weekend. I nearly forgot the audience with James Cook and Tom Hollander of ‘Rev,’ definitely in the well-worth waiting (and did we wait!) for category. Somebody said the BBC was filming on site. I’d love to know how they’re going to work that footage into a new series.

Betty Blue, our trusty hired campervan was a welcome refuge during the small amount of time we actually spent in her. We weren’t half cold though! My record on layers one night was four (vest, top, long-sleeved thermal baselayer, fleece) plus thermal base leggings, cargoes and three pairs of socks. Topped by a woolly shawl over my sleeping bag. I’m putting a hot water bottle down on the list next year, even if we have to fill it up in the grandstand loos.

And talking of ahem…”facilities,” the only cloud over the weekend as far as I was concerned, and even then it didn’t spoil it,was ongoing tummy problems. My fault – not watching what I was eating. There are only so many variations one can have on plain mashed potatoes. By the Monday night I was so bored with bland food that I cracked – and had some fish and chips. Big mistake! Should you have been in Soulspace early that evening and noticed a pale-faced demented looking woman rushing up and down the stairs twixt the panoramic restaurant and the entrance foyer, or sitting, doubled up in the final Dave T LTQ popping Gaviscon like there was no tomorrow, that was Yours Truly. A colonoscopy since has shown I have diverticulosis; I’ll spare you the details (TMI). Suffice it to say, it’s not exactly the most glamorous of complaints. Bring on the mashed potatoes.

Another happy discovery: The YMCA 24 hour cafe, (wonderful scrambled eggs on toast).

So, altogether, cool beans…as Ms M would say. Though maybe ‘beans’ isn’t the best choice of words, under the circs.

Shock, horror, revelation

Hello, I’m Miffy and…wait for it…I’m harbouring an uncontrollable urge to acquire a wheeled shopper! Is there any hope for me? Pop over to my Greenpatches blog to find out more…if you dare. πŸ˜‰

Other than that, the summer season is in full swing chez Miffy. Offspring One is sunning herself in Malta. Offspring Two and his mates have just set off* for La Belle France, and Mr M has launched himself back into his training programme. No big events this year, though plans are in the pipeline for a reprise of part of his 2006 TDF shadowing for 2011. And talking of pipes, the Miffy internal plumbing is again under investigation, though indications point to nothing serious; hopefully, it’s due to time of life. (Which might account for my weird urges above!). Could make for an interesting time at Greenbelt, though. I’ll need to steer clear of all those lovely, exotic food stalls. (Bah!)

* Armed with a pile of cheese and egg and watercress sandwiches to last them five days, I’ve just been informed. Again, this could be ‘interesting.’